Canterbury Bulldogs vs. Parramatta Eels
MATCH UP STATS
Canterbury Bulldogs vs. Parramatta Eels
Season record:Canterbury Bulldogs: 7-12Parramatta Eels: 12-7
First try-scorers:Canterbury Bulldogs: Brett Morris: $11 @ SportsbetParramatta Eels: Semi Radradra: $7 @ Sportsbet
Thursday, August 3, 7.50pm. ANZ Stadium
EXPECTATIONS for the Bulldogs this season weren’t at an all-time high, but not many would have predicted such a dismal 2017 for the proud Sydney club.
The Dogs fell to their 12th loss of the season against the Panthers and there were no signs of any late resurgence last week. Des Hasler’s men will not make the playoffs, but Bulldogs utility Moses Mbye isn’t going to give up completely.
“It becomes a long few weeks now and it’s a shame, but that’s footy and we can’t throw our toys out of the cot – you’ve just got to get on with it and look forward to next week,” Mbye said.
“We just want to put together a few good performances and display what we can do but unfortunately we’ve left it too late.”
Making a late run for their fans won’t be made easy by coming up against the Eels this Thursday night, given its recent form.
The Parramatta Eels are flying up the leaderboard after its fourth consecutive victory against the Broncos and it’s those wins that will hold them in good stead for the finals.
Having typically been criticised for showing no signs of consistency, the Eels are starting to put it all together and recent wins against the Broncos and Melbourne Storm have been top class.
During its winning streak the Eels defeated the Bulldogs 13-12 in round 17 and it would take a brave punter to suggest the Bulldogs can overturn that result.
Bookmakers have opened the Eels up as the steady favourites and we’re expecting more money to come for them in the premiership race. Bookies currently have the Eels at +1400 to win the title and that’s much better value than the $2.50 being offered for the Storm.
It’s tough to know which team needs this win more on Thursday night, but it should be an exciting contest and both sides possess plenty of try scoring talent. We’ve looked at the best try scoring chances with updated odds and tips.
Canterbury bulldogs first try scorer tips
Brett Morris – $11
Josh Morris – $14
Marcelo Montoya – +1300
Kerrod Holland – $14
Will Hopoate – $21
Chase Stanley – $21
Josh Reynolds – $23
Moses Mbye – $23
Adam Elliott – $31
Matt Frawley – $34
Josh Jackson – $36
Raymond Faitala-Mariner – $36
David Klemmer – $56
James Graham – $56
Aiden Tolman – $81
Sam Kasiano – $81
The problem for the Bulldogs has been its lack of try scoring ability, but desperate times call for desperate measures and the back line needs to fire up.
The Morris brothers have solid throughout the season without been overly exciting, but it has taken Josh Reynolds to spark the team up and he got them off to a good start last weekend, but it simply wasn’t enough.
Moses Mbye, Kerrod Holland and Will Hopoate are all going to need to show some attacking flair and we’re putting the onus on Hopoate.
Hopoate has the potential to be a top flight player in the NRL, but he seems reluctant to show his best skills. The versatile player is finding it hard to create his own space and would perhaps be better suited playing along side a half that doesn’t continually put high kicks up.
That can often stifle the offensive rhythm and Hopoate is clearly struggling. If he wants to impress coaches heading into next season, expect Hopoate ($21 at Sportsbet) to do everything in his power to cross the line first on Thursday.
The anytime try scorer option can be valuable for punters and taking Brett Morris could be the way to go. He’s currently the favourite for the Bulldogs to score first, but take the $2.20 to score at any time.
Morris might run over the tired defence at the end of the half as he packs plenty of power close to the line.
Parramatta Eels first try scorer odds and tips
Semi Radradra – +600
Bevan French – $11
Kirisome Auva’a – $11
Michael Jennings – $13
Brad Takairangi – $14
Corey Norman – $17
Will Smith – $17
Mitchell Moses – $26
Manu Ma’u – $26
Tepai Moeroa – $31
Kenny Edwards – $34
Nathan Brown – $34
Cameron King – $36
Tim Mannah – $56
Daniel Alvaro – $61
The key to the Eels’ success is scoring tries and it’s not hard to see why.
The Eels own some of the best try scoring talent in the NRL and Semi Radradra is leading the way. The Fijian winger has been brilliant this season and teams are deliberately kicking away from him.
Setting the try scoring ranks alight for the second straight season, Radradra must be at the top of everyone’s first try scoring selections and he’s firmly at ours.
$7 might seem a touch short, but he’s the quality player this Thursday night and he will look like a try scoring threat early in the contest.
Fellow flyer Bevan French has the speed to get past any defence and that’s always a good quality to have. French has been switching between winger and full back this season, but it doesn’t seem to matter in what position he lines up at.
French is set to give this Bulldogs team fits on the outside and the $2.10 available to score at any time is a great multi-bet builder.
Bulldogs vs. Eels game tip
We have tended to side with the Bulldogs on many occasions this season and we don’t have much to show for it. On that basis, we can’t go past the Eels putting up a big number on Thursday night.
Whilst not at full strength, the Eels possess too much scoring talent and the Bulldogs look lucky to score one try in recent times, let alone the four or five needed to get past the Eels.
Radradra could have a field day lining up Kerrod Holland on the flanks and we’re predicting an easy 14-20 point win for the form team of the comp.
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